The word art my sister had made for me for Christmas. The reminder
to give thanks!
In celebration of my birthday, August 2011, I was given money for a NOOK e-reader. I eagerly picked up my NOOK at Barnes and Noble and decided it was time to read "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. I'd heard about it from a variety of sources, but didn't want to add another physical book to the shelves and shelves of books we already owned. Nearly beside myself that my NOOK could hold loads of books, I enthusiastically purchased "One Thousand Gifts" as my first e-book.
I already knew a little history of "One Thousand Gifts" - that a friend of Voskamp's had dared her to find 1,000 things she was thankful for ~ 1,000 eucharisteos.
Inspired by the concept, I purchased a very nice Italian-made leather journal. I'm a self proclaimed pen and paper snob, and the nicer the journal, the more seriously I take my writing. My intent: learn to see all the "small gifts" in life, past through present. With about 28~ years of life behind me, I had a lot of catching up to do.
Journaling eucharisteos became an incredible blessing, especially as I read Voskamp's book.
I began January 1, 2012 (just 4 months after my first journal entry) with eucharisteo #1368. My last entry on 12.31.12 was #3742. That's 2,374 gifts I've documented in one year.
My current journal. My first was the same size, just a different color.
I started this volume on 4.21.12 on #2114
Two-thousand three-hundred and seventy-four gifts.
How many more have I missed? Forgotten to document?
I. Am. Blessed.
Once I hit the one-year eucharisteo journaling mark, I became less consistent with my documenting, though I don't think I ever went more than two weeks between journal entries. I remember frequently thinking I should take 5 minutes to write down a few things - I was always aware of the Lord's blessings throughout each day. I regret that I didn't take the time to sit down daily.
In the matter of journaling, there is positively zero point in focusing on the things I did not document. I was still abundantly blessed, given many gifts meriting thanksgiving. Writing them down only impacts my memory. I was given a multitude of gifts regardless.
Ann Voskamp is actively challenging people to join her in the 2013 Joy Dare.
Thanks giving leads to thanks living ~ A. Voskamp
On her website, she offers a year's worth of prompts - just write down a mere 3 eucharisteos per day, and you'll have 1,000 in a year. The idea is that, if nothing else, you follow the prompts to seek out the Lord's daily gifts.
The monthly prompts from Voskamp's blog, and
my current journal.
Trust me: once you start looking, the lists begin to flow. There is no rule that says you must follow the prompts, but there are days where they can provide a beautiful challenge. My personal goal for this year is to try and follow the daily suggestions, in addition to the gifts I notice on my own.
Day 1: 3 things heard, Day 2: A gift outside, inside, on a plate,
Day 3: 3 graces you overheard...
There are no hard and fast rules to remembering eucharisteos, the gifts the Lord has given us. There is nothing that says you can't be thankful for that first cup of coffee every single day. Or, a smile from your child, a kiss from your husband. Repeated entries, in my opinion, are new gifts, enjoyed once more.
Studies have been done on the impact thankfulness has on the overall well being of an individual. To see exact benefits, click here. My short assessment? Taking the time to journal thanks is well worth the time.
This is a large book and it is over 2/3 full. I have another of equal size
that is already completed. Seriously, why wouldn't a person
want to have those reference points of grace?
3 gifts heard, a gift outside, inside, on a plate plus
my own observed graces
So, 2013, I invite you to join me in counting grace, remembering blessings, giving thanks. This is a win-win challenge.
What are you waiting for? Give thanks for His grace!
January 1, 2013
#3760: Gift heard 1: All 3 of my children laughing and playing together
#3761: Gift heard 2: Daniel's voice, saying 'I love you'
#3762: Gift heard 3: Bailey's contented purr
January 2, 2013
#3763: Outside: gray-white skies
#3764: Inside: the spinner exercise bike
#3765: On a plate: warm lunch